An author can spend months, even years writing their best-seller, and then upload it to Amazon only to have it sit in cyberspace, gathering cyberdust. I know, because I’ve done it, and I don’t think I’m the only one. What we missed is an important necessary element for success: an online book launch.
There are some important reasons why we need a book launch:
- Only a few days after publishing, your book will have verified reviews
- With reviews, you attract more readers
- With more reviews, your book will meet the criteria for advertising sooner on some popular promo sites that require minimum review requirements
- There’s a better chance of getting your book in a top 100 Amazon list in the first 30 days
- The surge in popularity will run from free days over into paid
- The continued momentum gives your book a chance to be bestseller in your category
Here are five steps to make your online book launch a success.
- Invest in a professional book cover and an edited book.
Our readers won’t want to read something full of errors. Don’t use them as proofreaders. Also, beta readers should have already been engaged to catch inconsistencies or confusing sections of the book. Of course, be open and encourage your team to let you know of any erroneous errors or typos. It’s better to know now then later, when published and in front of potential harsh reviewers. Don’t have a cover that looks like an obvious homemade one, or one that confuses readers about the genre.
- Create a (closed) book launch group on Facebook.
Invite friends and fellow authors and ask around in your social circles to get more members. Keep in mind that only a third will leave a review. So invite between 50 to 75 readers. If 25 leave reviews, that’s a good start!
- Provide ARCs. Use bookfunnel or Instafreebie (keeping it private, not public).
Keep track of who is reading, who has reviewed, etc. It’s okay to remind them to review but don’t be a nag. Some of us do forget, and you never know who is under another deadline. So be considerate.
When you invite people to your book launch, make it interesting. Encourage participation by posting articles and blogs related to your book, asking for feedback. Hold polls, have a few games and drawings for fun, if that’s your style. Launching a book doesn’t have to be a serious (or boring) affair.
- Let your readers know what their role is:
- Download and read the book (the ARC at this point) before the publication date
- During the free promotion (several days after publication), download a copy and then leave a review on Amazon. This will be a verified review. (Note: During a book launch, it is advised to select Kindle Unlimited (because of the easy way to do the 5 free days). After the 90 days is over, you may continue with KU or elect to get out (go wide). Do not use your 5 free days all at once though. Use 2 or 3 days right after publication and 2 or 3 days later, after your book gets the necessary reviews to promote.)
- Give your team several ideas on where to leave their review (Amazon US, Amazon UK, Goodreads, etc.)
- Be sure and tell them that they are to give an honest review. We are not here to receive phony 5-star reviews. Have you ever seen a book with only 5 stars, the reviews written within the same time frame? It looks like a set up and readers won’t fall for it.
- Continue to promote and engage.
Use social media to spread the word. Connect with others and be responsive and helpful. Join other book launches and spread the excitement. Create a book trailer (or have one created for you). Contact bloggers. Schedule advertising slots well in advance.
Finally, have fun and enjoy the ride!
Here’s a free book launch blueprint for your use.